Two Developments in Swimming Sexual Abuse Narratives While I Was Away

Published January 31st, 2020, Uncategorized

by Irvin Muchnick

Pope Francis Replaces Philadelphia Archbishop Who Smoothed U.S. Entree of Peruvian Sect With Possible George Gibney Connection

Archbishop Charles Chaput has been ordered by the Vatican to step down as the head of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Pope Francis chose not to take the often routine step of allowing Chaput to remain past the standard retirement age of 75. See https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/23/us/pope-francis-chaput-philadelphia.html.

This move is all about ideological disagreements between the comparatively progressive current pope and his more conservative Catholic Church adversaries on issues like abortion. But it does also relate to Concussion Inc.’s investigations in one respect: Chaput was previously archbishop of Denver. And in that capacity, in the late 1990s, he paved the way for Peru’s controversial right-wing Sodalitium Christianae Vitae to make inroads into the United States as the sect sought to move assets out of its home base country in anticipation of sexual abuse lawsuits.

At some point just before or during 2000 — the year a George Gibney employer, who learned of his Irish past, fired him and informed on him to the police in Wheat Ridge, Colorado, a Denver suburb — Gibney chaired a still-unidentified local church parish’s medical mission for children in Peru. During this period, Denver Archbishop Chaput, following the sentiments of his predecessor, arch right-wing Cardinal James Stafford, recognized a Sodalitium retreat center in Colorado, as well as its female quasi-affiliate, the Marian Sisters. The first Sodalitium parish in the archdiocese would start in 2002, with Chaput’s blessing; the pastor there is Peruvian native Father Daniel Cardó.

In Concussion Inc. reports that remain unrefuted by the authorities, George Gibney, the rapist two-time Irish Olympic swimming head coach who has been in effective exile, is under investigation by a Department of Justice office focused on human trafficking and money laundering. The investigation relates to a widely reported probe of USA Swimming insurance fraud and sexual abuse cover-ups by a federal grand jury in New York.

One output of the criminal investigation of swimming, experts say, could wind up being the establishment of an abuse survivors’ “superfund.” (Yesterday a $215 million fund was announced for victims of Larry Nassar, the molester doctor of USA Swimming.)

The full background of the Gibney piece of the story is in my ebook THE GEORGE GIBNEY CHRONICLES: What the Hunt For the Most Notorious At-Large Sex Criminal in the History of Global Sports Has Told Us About the Sports Establishments and Governments on Two Continents. It is available on Amazon Kindle at https://www.amazon.com/George-Gibney-Chronicles-Establishments-Governments-ebook/dp/B07NZ6S3PJ, or as a PDF file by remitting US $3.49, via PayPal, to paypal@muchnick.net.

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Will Colebank, One of the Sickest Figures of the USA Swimming Executive Leadership, Has Resurfaced in the Sport

A week ago Chris DeSantis, a swimming coach with a refreshingly dissident bent, blogged:

Recently, while perusing the often toxic but irresistible ‘Swim Coaches Idea Exchange Group’ on Facebook, I came across a curious name. Commenting (mostly incoherently) in reply to a question about supporting paralympic athletes was Will Colebank.”

For further details, see the DeSantis post at http://chrisdcoach.com/blog/2020/1/22/will-colebank-resurfaces-in-swimming.

Will Colebank was the club development director of USA Swimming. He was quietly fired and ushered out of the organization’s Colorado Springs headquarters in 1998, after inappropriate material was found on his office computer. The content, reportedly, included his solicitations of a 12-year-old swimmer in Florida.

Colebank promptly got a new job, as a teacher at the Carmel Middle School in Colorado Springs. Then his own wife and son reported to the police on activities that would add up to 17 felony counts of sexual exploitation of children.

Colebank is now 67 years old; plug his name into this site’s search box for our coverage of him in 2012. I will contact USA Swimming for comment on the Chris DeSantis report. Routinely, the group has ignored my inquiries.